The history of the African Leadership Institute

SeanAndPeterThe African Leadership Institute (AFLI)* was founded in 2003 by African-born Rhodes Scholar Peter Wilson and Sean Lance, a renowned international business leader.

The two recognised that in order to achieve the most impact in Africa, developing the next generation of leaders should be the highest priority. With the support of Oxford University, AFLI developed the Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship Programme as the continent’s premier leadership programme.

Experientially based and offering a high-calibre global faculty, the programme was created with the understanding that introspection and self-awareness are foundational to great leadership. Seeking to navigate the complexities and challenges of African leadership in a global context, the programme presents participants with the international perspective required of Africa’s future leaders.

Some recognition includes:

  • In June 2011, AFLI was honoured as the Social Initiative of the Decade at the Africa 2.0 Awards Ceremony.
  • In 2013 AFLI was featured as a four-part, four-hour documentary entitled “Tutu’s Children,” which appeared Al Jazeera English TV Channel.
  • In December 2022, AFLI received the Power, Together award from the Reykjavík Global Forum – Women Leaders, which recognizes exemplary initiatives and movements where people join forces to create positive impacts and create great change.
  • In 2022, the AFLI Founders, Sean and Peter, were honoured by the University of the Western Cape and given gold medals in recognition of the work done in establishing AFLI and investing in young leaders of Africa through the Tutu Leadership Fellowship. 

*AFLI is a registered entity in both the UK (Registration No. 4969904, Charity No. 1104688) and South Africa (Registration number 2006/003927/08 and PBO No. 930021929, TEU Reference No. UM/040/02/07)

 You can read more about the founding story of AFLI in News.


About AFLI



The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.